And from cars at red lights to roundabout rights, here’s a crash course in bicycle rules for all road users...
Passing stationary traffic
When a cyclist was doored on Collins Street by a man exiting a taxi on Monday, she was passing on the left side of a lane of stationary traffic.
How safe is cycling through the CBD?
Video journalist Tim Doldissen takes us along for a ride through the Melbourne city grid as he keeps a lookout for the many potential hazards.PT2M51S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-35544 620 349 March 20, 2014
This is not only legal, but also recommended, according to Bicycle Network Victoria spokesman Garry Brennan.
“Bikes are encouraged to pass at the left and stop at the front of traffic at intersections because that considerably reduces the risk of being struck by left-turning and right-turning vehicles,” he said.
Riding side by side
While it is a pet hate of many drivers, VicRoads states it is legal for cyclists to ride two abreast, provided they are no more than 1.5 metres from each other. It is also legal for a third cyclist to then overtake them, Mr Brennan added.
Lanes, roads and paths
Cyclists must use a bike lane whenever there is one available, but it isn't necessary to use an off-road bicycle path, such as a shared footpath.
Mr Brennan said cyclists could also occupy a whole lane of the road when necessary.
“They can't obstruct traffic, but the kerb side might be full of debris from a tree or a car crash, so in some cases for their own safety they will move over and take a whole lane,” he said.
“That's legal, but they can't do it indefinitely and hold up traffic.”
Cycling on a footpath is against the law, except for children under 12 and any adult supervising them. Anyone using a bike on a footpath must give way to pedestrians.
Helmets and lights
Wearing an Australian Standards-approved bicycle helmet is compulsory for cyclists and passengers, however it is possible to apply to VicRoads for an exemption for medical, physical or religious reasons.
Riding a bicycle at night is illegal unless it is fitted with a front-facing white light and a rear-facing red light, which can be flashing or steady.
Roundabouts and turns
Roundabouts are the cause of great uncertainty, but there's no reason for confusion: bicycles should be treated and behave the same as any other vehicle, Mr Brennan said.
“Cars are required to give way at a roundabout to bikes, but the problem is that cars are often not looking,” he said.
As for hook turns, Mr Brennan said they are a cyclist's best friend and can be performed at any intersection.
“[Hook turns are] a very safe option, as cyclists don't have to cross lanes of traffic or be stuck waiting out in the middle of an intersection,” he said.